Road Trip: Target Bluff German Haus


If you're driving down 90/94 toward Madison — as I inevitably am — you've got a number of good options vis-a-vis food. There's Culver's, home of the ButterBurger. There's decent local cheese and sausage available at most gas stations. There is, of course, the Norske Nook, home of awe-inspiring pie.

And then there's the Target Bluff German Haus. Located at Camp Douglas (30 miles north of the Dells), the Haus faces Target Bluff, a damned fine looking pile of rocks.

The Haus (which doubles and triples as a bicycle rental depot and gift shop) doesn't exactlly scream haute cuisine, and that's perfectly fine; what it delivers is sprawling small-town supper club atmosphere crossed with a Bavarian beerhall. It also sports a massive leather bar that could easily seat 50.

Here's the killer order: a bratwurst sandwich ($4) and a draught mug of Spaten Optimator, one of the most thrillingly smooth-drinking beers in the world.

The bratwurst (of the white, relatively gentle, easy-eating variety) comes on a flat buttered bun with a jar of German-style mustard on the side. It's soul food for the central European soul, and it's available on a major highway near you.